W.O. Parmer receives grant

Published 3:16 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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W.O. Parmer Elementary School was picked as a 2022-2023 ‘Be Healthy School’ by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The school was awarded a $10,000 grant to help them achieve their goal of teaching healthier habits to not only their students, but the entire family as well.

According to Litta Norris, the Pre-K Director with Butler County Schools, they have a “Ready Set Grow!” program.

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This program has three separate components.

The first is nutrition. The students will learn about gardening and how food grows.

They will have gardening projects to complete all the way through their summer enrichment camp.

During the school year, local farmers will come in and help the students with projects like building plant containers and demonstrating how to plant vegetables in their containers.

The children will also be taught how to care for a garden, and how to use the plants once they are harvested.

The remainder of the grant will be used to help with the second component of the schools plan.

This part will focus on physical fitness.

W.O. Parmer plans on purchasing exercise equipment for their playground.

“It will be placed in an area of our campus to make a fitness course to be used by students during PE, break and during the after school program,” Norris said.

The course will expand the playground and help the PE teachers with their fitness and exercise programs.

Rosa Smith, one of the PE teachers at W.O. Parmer is overwhelmed by the generosity of BCBS.

“I’m so stoked about getting this grant. Thank you so much Blue Cross Blue Shield,” Smith said.

The final leg of their health stool is focusing on the parents; getting them involved with their children in both growing their own small gardens, eating healthy, and exercising with their families.

“Our focus with this is not just a playground. It’s actually a fitness course. It’s something we can start teaching them as part of being healthy and how exercise relates to being healthy,” Norris said.